Stocks extended gains through the morning session as a smaller-than-expected increase in crude inventories boosted the energy sector. Apple (AAPL) was also leading markets higher after iPhone sales in China lifted quarterly revenue. Starwood Hotels (HOT) spiked on reports Hyatt Hotels (H) is in advanced talks to purchase the hotel chain. Sources said an agreement could be reached in as little as a week. Shares have climbed more than 15% since Tuesday on separate reports a number of Chinese firms were interested in the company. Gilead Sciences (GILD) fell after quarterly sales of its key hepatitis C treatments came in flat as health insurers opted for less expensive medicines. However, the drugmaker did manage to top revenue and earnings estimates over the quarter.
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